Parliament forum to highlight appalling treatment of sick NSW police officers

2 December 2014
Lawyers and police officers who are discharged from the force due to illness will today argue for better insurance arrangements for service men and women at a NSW Parliamentary Forum.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn which has represented many retired police force members will be speaking at the Forum along with police officers.  Senior Associate Josh Mennen said many had been medically retired as a result of work-related injury and illnesses including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and were subsequently receiving appalling treatment from MetLife, the insurance company for NSW police between July 2005 and January 2012.

“MetLife were retained by the NSW Police Force to provide disability insurance protection to police officers who suffered injuries and illnesses that prevent them from working,” Mr Mennen said.

“However from January 2012 MetLife lost the contract and are no longer enjoying the premiums. What we have seen as a result is that in the claims for officers who ceased work whilst MetLife were ‘on risk’, Metlife have adopted an aggressive ‘delay or decline’ attitude to claims assessment.  We believe they have done so intentionally and strategically in the hope that it will wear the claimants down with relentless surveillance and frustrating obstacles so they throw in the towel.”  

“The result is that the claimants’ psychiatric injuries are often exacerbated by MetLife’s treatment, and particularly their invasive surveillance, at a time where they need and deserve all the support they can get.”

“What needs to happen is for MetLife to drop their unreasonable tactics which can be so harmful, and for the NSW Police Force to do more to support their disabled officers in their struggle, because at the moment they have been left to fend for themselves and deal with a hostile insurance company,” said Mr Mennen.

“We greatly hope that today’s forum will assist in further highlighting these issues and on behalf of my clients we thank David Shoebridge MP for making this happen. It’s in everyone’s interests to try and get a better outcome for all NSW police officers,” he said.

Josh Mennen will be addressing today’s Parliamentary forum.

Forum details:

What: A Parliamentary Forum on Police Psychological Injuries
Where: Theatrette, NSW Parliament, Macquarie Street, Sydney
When: Tuesday 2 December 2014 - 2:30pm to 4:30pm Eastern Standard time